Pressure on to Merge State Agencies

Debate is heating up over whether California should continue to be the only state with two agencies regulating health insurance. The Department of Managed Health Care oversees health plans – mostly HMOs – that cover 21.6 million Californians. The Department of Insurance regulates most preferred provider and traditional indemnity plans, which cover 2.4 million state residents. Talk about combining the two has spiked several times since the managed-care department began in 2000, but the issue has gained momentum as the state scrambles to save money and federal health care reform begins to change the insurance market.

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